I’ve been a fan of superheroes my entire life, although I’ve never had a big interest in Superman himself, which is a bit ironic considering he’s the character that started the entire industry. I did like the Christopher Reeve movies, and the DC Animated Universe cartoon was decent. The ever-expanding Arrowverse finally added a Superman to their roster, and it was the best version of the character I’d seen in many years, much better than the darker version that popped up in the recent movies and the “New 52” reboot. I was interested when they announced the new “Superman and Lois” show and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it through the first season. It’s too bad we’ve reached the end of a great season, but at least we know there will be a season two, and hopefully some appearances throughout the Arrowverse to look forward to. As this is a season finale, there may be some spoilers below.
Things ended with a dire situation last time, as Morgan Edge/Tal-Rho attacked and kidnapped Jordan, before the horrified eyes of Jonathan, Sam Lane, and Sara. Now, the Man of Steel desperately scours the world, searching for his missing son. Steel’s AI, which really needs a name, is also scanning, and finding nothing. Superman checks back in at the farm, shares his lack of results with Lois and John Henry Irons, and then flies off. Everyone is clearly upset and worried, and who wouldn’t be? Irons, as requested, stays at the farm to provide security if the renegade Kryptonian turns up. Sara, sent to get help, returns to the scene of the attack with her parents, who try and help treat Sam’s injuries. Sam isn’t really interested in medical treatment, and is wholly focused on getting his grandson back. Sara, reasonably enough, asks a question Jonathan can’t answer.
Jordan, as we saw last time, is now playing involuntary host to Zeta-Rho, Morgan Edge’s father. Zeta has plans, and they bode ill for everyone on Earth, particularly the Kents. As Zeta rattles off some orders, Lois goes to confront the captive Leslie Larr. Larr isn’t at helpful and boasts about what’s coming, but very non-specifically. I don’t think we’ve been given Larr’s Kryptonian name. Also while I get the idea of the effect, they modulate Zeta’s voice so heavily I actually have trouble making out what he’s saying. At Lane’s command post in Smallville, the townsfolk are near-riot, which the stressed out general doesn’t have time for. Kyle checks with his family, and they all agree they are going to stay and help instead of fleeing. I like both that they all agreed to stay and that Kyle checked before making the decision. Kyle has been difficult to like at times, but he’s really come back well the second half of the season.
Superman finally has some success and zooms to Jordan, while the townsfolk are getting more and more uneasy and worked up. Lana and Kyle manage to help General Lane get at least some quiet so they can talk, and Chrissy shows that, small-town reporter or not, she’s got a keen mind, putting some pieces together just before things get much worse. As Morgan Edge threatens Smallville, Superman is in the unenviable position of having to fight his possessed son, who now shows a much broader range of powers than he did before Zeta moved in. Zeta and Superman argue, and Zeta takes full advantage of the man’s reluctance to hurt his son. Lois tells Jonathan that his father is trying to save his brother, and refers to backup coming. Steel faces off with the enhanced Morgan Edge, and gets several ugly surprises. Brave, but not wise, several of Sam Lane’s troops step in and begin firing, provoking an unexpected response from Edge.
Zeta boasts to Superman more before flying off, and Edge continues to surprise, in very bad ways, the people of Smallville and the DOD. Superman, rarely for him, arrives just a moment too late and everyone exchanges worried looks. Lane, determined to save people in spite of how they treat him, orders a full evacuation of Smallville, more than willing to use Chrissy’s paper, social media, and any other means to get everyone moving. Sara is worried about Jordan, and not happy that he hasn’t been found yet. Superman is faced with a dilemma he can’t beat, with too much to do at once. Lois comes up with some answers about how she and the others can help him. Once again, we have the shared world problem of why they don’t contact anyone else in the Arrowverse. Lois has a good plan and a lot of confidence in her sons. She and Superman exchange compliments in the midst of the chaos, and it’s a nice, warm, believable moment.
Everyone splits off to attend to their assorted tasks; searching for Jordan, evacuating the town, or upgrading weapons. Even returning some, in Jonathan’s case, much to Irons’ amusement. With everyone ready, the team reassembles to try and enact their plan. Irons explains the limitations of his new weapon, and things sound difficult at absolute best. Jonathan is very worried, and then surprised when he gets told his part in things. The bad guys are planning, too, and it appears that everything is heading for a big showdown at the mines Edge bought just outside town. As Kyle, Lana, and Sara deal with helping their fellow townsfolk, Superman and Steel launch into battle with Zeta and his conscripted troops. Another minor flaw is how quickly the possessed gain mastery of their powers. It took Clark years, and while these folks don’t care about hurting someone by accident, them suddenly being able to target their heat vision and fly as well as Superman doesn’t really make much sense.
While Superman and Steel fight a host of powerful foes, Lois uses some technology they borrowed from the DOD to get into Jordan’s mind. Superman and Steel team up to knock Jordan out to give Lois her opportunity, and we see that Steel going toe to toe with Kryptonians is taking a toll on the suit. Lois and Steel exchange some grim lines and Jonathan offers Lois some reassurance. Tensions build as Superman fights bad guys, Lois journeys through her son’s hijacked mind, and Morgan Edge prepares to do something slightly vague but ugly sounding. The evacuation is going badly, and Kyle, despite the fact that he’s not a firefighter for the town anymore, goes to the rescue when someone is trapped. Lois sees some things she’d rather not as her journey continues, and she is plagued by Zeta’s mocking opposition.
Jordan unfortunately wakes up, and isn’t himself. Jonathan has a nasty task ahead of him, but does it well. It doesn’t work quite like they hoped, and Jonathan finds himself in mortal danger. He gasps out some words we haven’t heard him say yet, and it makes sense we haven’t. Lois finds Jordan, hidden away in the recesses of his own mind, and manages to encourage him enough to free himself. There’s some initial disorientation on everyone first waking up, but they get a big group hug. The big battle rages on, and Steel ignores the warnings he’s getting to do his part to help Superman, which is a huge step from the character that wanted to kill the Man of Steel earlier in the season. Eventually, the bad guys are beaten, freed, or captured respectively, and Superman manages another last-minute rescue to help a good guy in need. Larr, locked in her cell, somehow knows things are going badly for her side, and the beaten Edge makes a pathetic statement that Superman responds to as kindly as he can.
As the episode and the season begin to wind down, there are a lot of follow-up scenes. Superman gives a very honest and forthright interview to Chrissy, showing a whole different kind of courage than that of laying his life on the line to save others. Superman shares some details about who and what Morgan Edge was, and what he was doing. As he does a voiceover for the town recovering, there’s a silent confrontation between two characters that makes me wonder about the future for one of them, or at least some employment changes. Superman gives a very optimistic talk about Smallville coming together. This leads to another big barbecue at the Cushing house, with Kyle happily grilling for everyone. He and Lana banter about his “Victory Ribs” and then Lois proves his point for him, and we see how much closer those two have gotten. Lana and Clark chat a bit and we see some rifts from earlier in the season are healing.
A lot of the kids are playing video games, and there’s a great nod to Superman before Jonathan leaves to go see about something a lot more important. Lois presents Chrissy with a business deal, and a subplot that was recently introduced gets dealt with, to the joy of both. Irons and Sam Lane talk about their futures, job opportunities, and brisket. Lois comes up as Sam leaves and she and Irons have a talk where he makes some excellent points about why he can’t stay. Lois comes up with a way past the sudden awkwardness that many people use. Sara and Jordan get a few private moments and talk about things that have been said before moving on to doing things instead.
At the farm, the Kent family has a solemn memorial for someone we lost along the way this season. This show has cut Superman loose from many of his familiar places, and I guess some of them aren’t coming back. Irons and his still-nameless AI have what almost sounds like friendly banter about Irons getting ready to go, and then alarms go off from both the AI and Clark’s senses. The episode, and season, end with a surprising arrival that may change several people’s plans and cause more awkwardness for season two.
What I liked: Just about everything. This series, season, and episode have impressed me. They have great writing and acting, and some good special effects. This is the most human, approachable, relatable Superman I’ve seen in some time. Lois is definitely part of the team and earns her spot in the title. The boys are new characters and I like how they are developing. I have questions about Jordan in the future given what we saw here, but I’ll just have to wait. I like that Kyle is coming around in a believable story arc. I’d really like to see Irons visit with Jefferson Pierce. I think that’d be a great meeting.
What I didn’t: Almost nothing. I’m not sure how Leslie knew what was happening elsewhere. I mentioned the newly-powered suddenly being so proficient. I’m hoping that Superman will manage to rebuild a few things they lost. With Kryptonian heritage being such a big part of this story, they really, really need to explain Supergirl’s absence somehow.
I was looking forward to this series, and they exceeded my expectations. I’m giving the finale a 4.5 out of 5, and the season as a whole a 5 out of 5.